artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


26 February 2010

Do you have any "personal pop-culture rules"? [More:] Some of the ones mentioned in this article work for me (like "avoid movies with white people dancing to Motown") and others don't.

I've personally been on a "no remakes or sequels" kick regarding movies for the last couple of years, which is probably why I so rarely go to the movies anymore. In video games, I'm very pro-Silent Hill. I'll at least try any game in that series.
I'll paraphrase my comment from MeFi: I won't see any movie or tv show based on a favorite book. Especially Jane Austen.
posted by JanetLand 26 February | 10:49
If it's a Coen Brothers movie, I will see it. Probably more than once, even if I don't much like it the first time. (We just rewatched The Man Who Wasn't There, having each watched it on release and found it lacking, but hoping to find something better on the second go-round. No such luck. It is very beautifully shot, though.)

Other than that, none of my rules are really rules, just guidelines. The Robin Williams rule, for example: I agree, mostly. And yet I'll certainly watch World's Greatest Dad, which The Fella had to watch for work and which (he reported gingerly) is awfully good in a hard-to-watch way.
posted by Elsa 26 February | 10:58
I avoid any band with a 'buzz' either mainstream or 'underground.' I've been burned too many times.
posted by jonmc 26 February | 11:10
I am inclined to avoid anything with Michael Douglas...something about him irritates me. Same goes for Tom Cruise...if he's in it, I try to avoid it. Even when he's being all "cool" and spoofing himself, he irritates the fuck outta me.

I also like to avoid really sentimental or heartstring-tugging ones. I just don't enjoy the feeling.

Bill Murray is the opposite of Michael and Tom...if he's in it, I'll watch it. There's a couple others too, but I'm less adamant about them. They include Martin Donovan, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood...hmmm...oh and if Bob Dylan acts in it? I'll see it. I find him strangely compelling, as an actor.
posted by richat 26 February | 11:12
No subtitles in a theatre. The screen is too big and I miss too much hopping back and forth. I will wait for the DVD.

No *Schwarzenegger movies. *Substitute any muscle bound halfwit like the Rock or whoever.

No FX-laden extravaganzas. (Still haven't seen Avatar, and I don't intend to.)


Buy any new material by former Runaways Joan F Jett or Lita Ford. (The Runaways movie premieres March 19.)

Make an effort to see new Scorsese movies.

I know I have other stereotypes but usually they only occur to me in the moment.
posted by Ardiril 26 February | 11:13
Oh, here's one regarding animated films: Pixar = ALWAYS see, DreamWorks = ALWAYS avoid.

For further info.
posted by BoringPostcards 26 February | 11:13
I will watch anything with George Clooney in it. Anything at all, no matter how bad. Even that one with J-Lo. Yes, I am that shallow.

I won't pay to watch a movie if I've already read the book. I will, however, watch it when it comes on TV and am nearly always deeply disappointed by the movie. This happened last week with Revolutionary Road, which completely bypassed all the backstory that was in the book about why the characters felt they were so superior to their neighbours, and why Leo de C's character ended in the position he found himself.

I also won't watch a movie where the trailer has car chases or explosions in the trailer (unless GC is in it, of course).

Anything with Renee Zellwegger, Katherine Hegl, Seth Rogan, Matt Damon or Tom Cruise is pretty much a no-watch.

Anything with Philip Seymour Hoffman is a must-watch.

Even if they were the only books left in the world that I had never read, I would not read a Jeffrey Archer novel.

And, fan of reality TV though I may be, Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity or anything with Katie Price/Kerry Katona is a switch over.
posted by essexjan 26 February | 11:17
What Elsa said about the Coen Bros, though I've yet to see The Man Who Wasn't There. I don't go to the theater, well, ever really. I'll pick it up if I see at a redbox, though.

I'll read anything Erik Larson puts out, just because he picks fascinating subjects and writes very thoroughly without being boring. Ted Conover is getting close to that point too, but I'm still working my way (slowly) through his back catalog. School has put a serious damper on my leisure reading time.

Fiction-wise, the only still-living and actively writing author that comes to mind is Christopher Buckley. Politics aside, he's a brilliant satirist, and they're generally quick, easy reads.
posted by ufez 26 February | 11:31
Does it have monsters and/or spaceships and/or the world ends? Yes.
Does it have monsters and swords and people who leap around a lot? ++ Yes
Does it have monsters, swords, explosions, leaping people AND people in improbable hats? +++ YES! I'm there!

Does it look as if it's going to be good for me, i.e., complex, lengthy and featuring Real People (tm) with Real Problems (tm)? No.
Is it a psychological thriller, a courtroom drama, a police procedural or a horror movie without any supernatural elements? ++ No
Is it a heartwarming romantic comedy with bonus slapstick interludes? +++ NO Please god no!

This comment was directly crossposted from the blue. Users may experience dizziness or disorientation. Comment is shipped by weight, not by volume. Your mileage may vary. Offer not valid in states beginning with a letter of the alphabet.
posted by mygothlaundry 26 February | 11:35
I'll avoid any movie whose trailer shows people at a party and then a character says something embarrassing and suddenly there's a record scratch sound and the music stops and everyone freezes in place and stares at the character like "Whaat did he just say??".

Also, any movie that has an extended cameo by a celebrity who's playing himself, only a crazier, bizarro version of said self... yeah, I'll pass. Harold & Kumar did it first and best (well, The Simpsons really did it first), but all the others who've aped it have been just terrible. (The Hangover, I'm talking about you here.)
posted by Atom Eyes 26 February | 11:37
I try to be open minded, but I do have some "tendencies".

I usually can't be bothered to see movies made from books I've already read. I feel I probably won't like it and my imagination has already done a better job of envisioning the book. There are exceptions, of course. Away From Her was a wonderful movie that stayed true to spirit of Alice Munro's short story, "The Bear Came Over the Moutain" while adding a great deal of new material to it that worked perfectly. But the Sherlock Holmes movie starring a karate-kicking Robert Downey Jr. with jelled, tousled hair? Ugh. Not sure I'll ever see it.
posted by Orange Swan 26 February | 11:39
Oops, didn't realize this was on Metafilter, too.
posted by BoringPostcards 26 February | 11:48
seems a bit too chatfilterish for MeFi, surprised the mods allowed it, like I know anything about being a mod ;-P
posted by Ardiril 26 February | 12:32
I generally avoid any movies based on video games, even games I love, like the plague.
I refuse to see anything with Martin Lawrence in it.

Like in the article, I never buy hardcover books new, unless they are for a class. (I dislike used English textbooks since I don't want someone else's highlighting messing my reading up).

I eat costume dramas like candy, though.
posted by kellydamnit 26 February | 12:49
If it's a big blockbuster or similarly hyped up film, I will avoid as many "behind the scenes" features on TV or on the 'net as I can. This is based on me having gone into the first X-Men film with no prior knowledge of anything and being so wonderfully surprised. This doesn't always work, but it's succeeded more often than it's failed.

If there's a movie based on a book and I haven't read the book yet, I'll try to wait till I've seen the movie to read the book.

Remakes are generally bad.

Colin Firth knows how to pick a good movie.

If I have a choice in how I'll buy an indie book or graphic novel, I'll find a way to do it so that most of the money goes to the creator.
posted by TrishaLynn 26 February | 12:56
I'm surprised it stood on the the blue, too.

I read everything by Joyce Carol Oates.

I may not seek them out, but I will never ever object to seeing a movie with Will Smith in it.

Tori Amos music is rainbaby repellant. I will run. Away.
posted by rainbaby 26 February | 13:12
Oh I forgot something - any book that has a passage in it where a character looks around and says, "My GOD! This is just like a bad novel!" gets thrown across the room. Don't DO that. Just don't do it.
posted by mygothlaundry 26 February | 13:13
Oh, and though I don't do enough research to apply the Bechdel test rigorously, I do appreciate a film when I realize that it has female characters talking to each other about something other than a man, just as if they were real people or something.
posted by Elsa 26 February | 13:19
If it's a film that was featured in my hometown's International Film Festival between 1990 and 2001, I'm watching it. I don't know if the same person curated the festival throughout that period, but damn, I never saw a single film that I disliked, and they were wildly diverse.

I went MIA from grad school for a week or so every year so I could see as many films as I could.
posted by gaspode 26 February | 13:26
Here's one for music: if an album has more than one or two songs "featuring" another artist, I skip it. "Guest stars" on albums should be few to none, IMO.
posted by BoringPostcards 26 February | 13:42
I love David Mamet (not his recent real life ravings, however). I try to avoid William H Macy (his demeanor is so condescending and posturing and he can't turn it off, which is not the kind of character we're often supposed to think of him as/he's cast as). On the other hand I think of William H Macy as Seymour Glass personified and he'd make a great Seymour. But then there'd be a Salinger movie and I'd feel bad about that.

OK, so that's it. I like to avoid William H Macy but never actually do because Mamet casts him all the time and anyway I'd totally be the first one to see him as Seymour Glass. But with a sense of guilt.
posted by birdie 26 February | 14:04
I almost never see films in a first-run theater, though that's not a pop-culture rule but a keep-Elsa-out-of-jail-for-physical-assault rule. I hate everybody else in the theater, and that's only half their fault.

A few more of my not-rules.
- I will always watch a movie directed by David Lynch, David Cronenberg, the Coen Brothers (as mentioned above).

- I shy away from remakes, especially English-language remakes of contemporary foreign-language films. However, a few marvelous remakes have made this more of an inclination and less of a rule. (Criminal comes to mind. The original is fantastic, the remake is different but fantastic --- I loved both.)

- I do not like to see brief short stories transformed to full-length features. Padding rarely improves a story.

- I will try reading almost any author or story once, in any genre or type: literary fiction, popular fiction, pulp fiction, academic no-fiction, popular non-fiction, graphic novel, whatever. Sometimes, I can't make it more than a 20 pages before giving up in disgust, but I do try it in earnest. (I recently tried to read a chapter of The DaVinci Code out of desperation in a waiting room, but its prose made me very cross indeed. I had to put it down and stare into space.)
posted by Elsa 26 February | 14:08
Musts: Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Steve Buscemi. And let me just say, all three have been in some fantastically shit movies. But even then they're pretty great.
posted by birdie 26 February | 14:08
Here's one for music: if an album has more than one or two songs "featuring" another artist, I skip it. "Guest stars" on albums should be few to none, IMO.

I see where you're coming from for rock/pop, but with hip-hop, I think the opposite is true. I've bought hip-hop albums by artists I'd never heard of just because they had tracks featuring several artists I like.
posted by ufez 26 February | 14:48
No Michael Bay movies.
posted by unsurprising 26 February | 15:36
With the exception of The Last Samurai I will not watch Tom Cruise. Something about him just irritates the heck out of me.

No Saw movies - EVER. Killing in horrible ways just for the shock factor is not for me.

And I am tired of watching Will Farrell run around in all his movies in his underwear.
posted by redvixen 26 February | 19:07
I try to avoid William H Macy

No Fargo?!?!
posted by gaspode 26 February | 19:09
No gratuitous violence in situations that could be real life. If it's orcs, Na'vi, talking mules, go right at it. Just don't much like human on human violence.

I will never buy a book that has any reference to "Now a Major Motion Picture" on the cover. Even if I'm catching up to the book after seeing the movie. I'm nothing if not a culture snob.
posted by danf 26 February | 19:46
No books with movie tie-in covers.

No Julia Roberts.

Always Edward Norton or Johnny Depp.

John Cusack no matter how groan-inducing the movie. (Therefore, Hot Tub Time Machine is in my immediate future.)

If I don't like the cover art, I don't buy the book.

Trade paperback over hardcover.

No ads with talking babies. Talking animals are okay.
posted by initapplette 26 February | 21:02
Excessive CG in a movie. I have no desire to watch Avatar or anything of that ilk.
posted by Doohickie 26 February | 21:10
No novelizations of movies adapted from novels. (Beowulf, Moonraker, ...)
posted by Ardiril 26 February | 21:22
Excessive CG in a movie.


- I do not like to see brief short stories transformed to full-length features.

If it weren't for this movie, I might agree.

I've bought hip-hop albums by artists I'd never heard of just because they had tracks featuring several artists I like.

This is one reason I hate the whole "guest star" thing... it's marketing. It's a way to sell the music, not a part of why the music came to exist in the first place. I mean, when Brian Eno and U2 made Achtung, Baby it was not because U2 thought they'd have MORE sales by having Brian Eno's name on the cover. They wanted his creative input. That was a collaboration, and those songs that "feat." someone usually seem to have been assembled by a marketing department.

I am probably still talking about pop and rock, because hip-hop has a whole hierarchy and stuff I don't follow.
posted by BoringPostcards 26 February | 21:53
Can we talk about rice pudding? || Bunny! OMG!